Students fill the floor of the Fargodome stadium with donated food for the needy this holiday
Following a 12-year-old local tradition, students from several high schools in eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota have once again filled the floor of the football stadium ahead of the holidays.
Known as the Fill The Dome project, the initiative convokes school teams to work in the collection of non-perishable food items to handle to individuals or families in need, as AP reported on November 20.
The event is fueled by healthy competition, as schools try to win the first place in a number of categories, including the amount of food gathered and the best design.
Creativity is present in the annual event, with students arranging the canned goods in artistic ways. Read more on our Twitter account @amomama_usa
The totals are in! @fillthedome officially collected 193,201 pounds of food in 2018 providing more than 161,000 meals to help those in need! A total for monetary donations collected will be known at a later time. @fdome #fillthedome #FTD2018 #GPFB #HeartsSolveHunger pic.twitter.com/OKishAY4II— GreatPlainsFoodBank (@NDFoodBank) November 20, 2018
The project has become a sort of rite of passage for students in the area, and younger students grow up waiting for the moment they can take part in the activities that take place in the Fargodome, in the city of Fargo.
“A lot of people don’t understand how big of an issue it is. It can be anyone. It can be your neighbor. It can be your best friend. We have to take care of our community.”
-McKenzie Burian, AP, November 20, 2018.
This year, Fargo Davies High School won the trophy for the most food gathered, while Fargo South High School won the best design by portraying the video game character Pacman eating the word “hunger.”
“It is always nice to say you collected the most food among the schools. But more importantly all of this goes back to the greater good,” said Davies senior Sophie Frappier.
Schools use different means to get as much food as possible for the program, including selling food bags at sponsoring grocery stores in the area, individual food donations and financial donations.
"Teaching them young is probably the best start to give back to the community, and the less fortunate."
About 300.000 meals will be available for people in need this December thanks to the student’s efforts, according to the Great Plains Food Bank, the only food bank in North Dakota.
“As we head into the holiday season I can’t think of any gift more precious or meaningful than food for a family facing hunger,” said Great Plains CEO Steve Sellent.
“I guess when we started this we never expected the longevity of the program and the impact it would have on future leaders,” shared 29-year-old Alex Widjue, who took part in the project since the start.
“What excites me most about it is that one, we are still helping the community, and two, we are still seeing students getting together from across the community,” Widjue added.
Meanwhile, in Sioux City, Iowa, students at Nodland and Sunnyside Elementary School collected over 11.000 food items to donate to the Soup Kitchen, the Warming Shelter, and local blessings boxes in time for Thanksgiving.
“All of our donations come from the community and especially coming from the younger ones, elementary, teaching them young is probably the best start to give back to the community, and the less fortunate,” said Joshua Lebowich.
14-year-old Darci Lynne Farmer became a household name when she became the winner of America’s Got Talent in 2017 as a singing ventriloquist, and she showed how much she cared for others when she announced what she was planning to do with her $1 million cash prize.
“First, I’m definitely going to give some money to my mission program at church. I have to get my mom a dishwasher. Then I’m definitely going to get a pug because I really want one,” Farmer said back then.